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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

RSL host another top-of-the-west team for the second time this week. Can they topple another giant?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time this week, Real Salt Lake host the top of the west team. It is two different teams, since FC Dallas beat Atlanta on Wednesday and Sporting Kansas City experienced a devastating loss to RSL. This pushed Dallas into first and SKC down to second. RSL now sit in 4th place in the west. Can the home side show the same attacking prowess they displayed in the last game?

Play your kids

On Wednesday we were all delighted to see the youths dismantle one of RSL’s main foes. The three goals from open play all came from players 22 years old or younger. RSL’s youth movement is paying off in a big way. The most exciting goal came from a turnover in RSL’s defensive third and they sprung a fast counter. This is the type of run the team needs to be making with the youth we have. A good win by Sunny followed by a few clean passes allowed Bofo the space he needed to put the ball away. All three goals in the first half were good, and I’d like to see guys like Bofo and Baird starting over Plata and Silva having earned their spot on Wednesday.

The captain

An RSL midfield without Kyle Beckerman simply looks weird. But honestly it worked quite well in the last game. When he did finally sub on late in the game, he brought a lot of energy. Kreilach and Sunny had a solid partnership, albeit not without some issues. Those two did find a rhythm midway into the first half and that helped RSL right the ship. Beckerman is now 36 years old, and perhaps it’s time to look forward in the midfield. It’s a hard truth to swallow, but the man can’t play forever, even if he’s been the backbone of the team for a decade. Was Wednesday a rest for the weekend or a shift in team dynamics?

Silly mistakes

We’ve seen a consistent backline in recent weeks. At the start of the season, there was a rotating cast with Justen Glad being the only regular. Now Acosta, Glad, Silva, and Lennon are the go-to defenders. The last game did see two goals allowed. The second was a bit of a garage goal, but in the first there was a clear mistake: Sallói was left in a mile of space inside the box. The team has to cover those attackers if they want to keep a clean sheet. Watch for clear communication and an understanding of who’s covering who.

Injury Report

Out:

Beltran (knee 10/15/17)

Allen (knee 6/16/17)

Barry (knee 3/10)

Phillips (ankle 4/7)

Horwath (achilles 4/18)

Mulholland (back 5/2)

Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13)

Horst (achilles 6/26)

Sparrow (knee 7/2)

Predicted Line Up

Rimando

Lennon, Glad, M.Silva, Acosta

Beckerman, Kreilach

Savarino, Rusnak, Bofo

Baird